Below are some lessons that David learned in his pit of depression:
- Sometimes we put ourselves in situations that only bring us heartache.
In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, ‘Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.' 2 Samuel 11:14-15
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
- In the midst of depression, we are sometimes inconsolable.
David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. 2 Samuel 12:16-17
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Psalm 13:1-2
- Even when the depression seems unbearable, God gives us hope!
Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. 2 Samuel 12:20
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me. Psalm 13:5-6
- We can move through our depression and grow from it.
His servants asked him, ‘Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!’ He answered, ‘While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, “Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.” But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.' 2 Samuel 12:21-22
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31
Helpful ways to deal with depression:
- Try to keep up with your daily routine.
- Make a plan and follow it through even if it is as simple as getting up and getting dressed.
- Get out of your house for set periods of time each day. Plan short visits with friends and family.
- Let others around you know that you are struggling and that you need encouragement.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently and exercise by taking short walks.
- Be aware of your thought life and write out Scripture verses so you can read them over and over.
- Ask God to give you His hope in the midst of your despair.
- Seek out a trusted friend, pastor or counselor to talk about what you are feeling inside.
- Write out your feelings in a journal or in the form of poetry or a story.
- Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Sometimes getting a physical can rule out physiological issues. Also talk with your physician about possible medications if you are having trouble sleeping or you notice that your mood is very low.